Support SB 479: Create a medical marijuana dispensary for those suffering in GA.

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My seventy-year-old mother was recently diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.  Approximately one year prior to being diagnosed, she developed drop foot in her right leg.  She started having intense cramping during sleep - so intense that she would wake during the night, moaning and at times crying out from pain.  During the latter part of 2017 I took a business trip to Las Vegas, where marijuana has become legal for both medical and recreational use.  I visited a dispensary and purchased a THC salve specifically made for pain use.  I gave this to my mother to use and on the very first night of use, the intense cramping went away, and has not returned due to continued use of the salve.

Once mom was diagnosed, she was referred to Emory, where the ALS clinic is world-renown.  I knew that Georgia had passed a medical marijuana bill a few years ago but had not paid that much attention to it, as no one in my family had ever had need of this before.  When I showed the salve to one of the top ALS doctors in the country, possibly the world, he said, "That's great and keep using it, but that medication doesn't exist for me."  Through further discussion, I learned that Georgia's law means that a doctor can write a prescription for a patient to carry a card that allows them to have medical marijuana and not be arrested for having it; however, there is no where in Georgia for them to purchase or receive medical marijuana.  The medical marijuana law in Georgia is, for all intents and purposes, useless.  

I've done a lot of research and learned about the uses of medical marijuana.  I'm astounded that we let the lobbyists of Big Pharma control us like this.  It is a natural substance with many pain-control and even protective qualities.  I have seen the real benefits that THC oil has for my mother, and as she struggles with this agonizing disease, I desperately want for her to have access to it.  I'm sure that sufferers and family members of those with cancer, Parkinson's, epilepsy, Chron's Disease, PTSD, Multiple Sclerosis, and Alzheimer's, to name a few, feel the same.

Senate Bill 479, sponsored by Senator Michael Williams of District 27, proposes to change the current law in Georgia "to provide for certain circumstances for the
lawful possession or control of certain quantities of low THC oil and medical marijuana; to amend Chapter 2A of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Department of Public Health, so as to establish the Medical Marijuana Patient Registry; to provide for licensing for cultivation of marijuana for the purpose of producing, processing, and dispensing medical marijuana in this state; to provide for criteria for certain cultivation and production licenses; to provide for state post-secondary educational institutions to have the option to bid on production facility licenses; to provide for rules and regulations; to
provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

This is by no means what I would consider to be a perfect bill.  In fact, it states for many diseases medical marijuana can be prescribed when the disease is "severe or end-stage", and I believe prescribing should be left to the discretion of the doctor and patient.  However, it is better than what we have on the books currently.

Won't you please sign this petition that we can forward to our Senators and request their support of SB 479?  Just imagine if you or a loved one were suffering from one of these dreaded diseases; how important to you would this be?  What if you could choose between the use of medical marijuana and a powerful, addiction-causing opioid?  Please support SB 479!

 



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